• Michael Joseph to lead UDM’s fund-raising efforts
• UDM to add three Economics degree programs at MCC’s University Center
• Students return to New Orleans for Alternative Spring Break
• UDM praised for affording students service opportunities
• Former UDM president honored for her outstanding contributions to higher education
• Varsity News gets a new home
• Theatre Company tells story of Ossian Sweet...again
Due to a recent University restructure, Michael Joseph, who has served as vice president for Enrollment Management since 2002, has also assumed leadership of the University’s Advancement departments. UDM President Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J., announced in November that the executive administration restructuring would “offer opportunities for greater integration of UDM operations.”
In the restructure, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Barbara Schirmer gained responsibility for Student Affairs. Joseph’s new Advancement responsibilities include the departments of Development, Alumni Relations & Special Events, Marketing & Public Affairs, Advancement Systems and Government & Community Relations. He still maintains leadership over Enrollment Management and the Athletics Department.
Under Joseph’s Enrollment Management leadership, the University has experienced a continued increase in full-time freshman enrollment. Freshman numbers have been strong for the fourth straight year, raising the full-time undergraduate count well above 2,000. Full-time-equivalent (FTE) enrollment (which ties most directly to revenue) will show its fourth year of growth, up 400 in those four years, resulting in the University’s highest FTE enrollment in eight years.
Did you know that you can take UDM classes in Macomb County? University of Detroit Mercy is one of eight educational institutions that offer bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at University Center at Macomb Community College (MCC). Located on MCC’s Center Campus, the University Center provides students the opportunity to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees close to home. UDM has been offering classes at University Center since its founding in 1991.
Beginning fall 2008, UDM will offer three new degree options at University Center: Bachelor of Arts in Financial Economics, Master of Arts in Financial Economics and Master of Arts in Economics.
The Economics courses are conveniently scheduled for working adults to complete their degree program in a timely manner. Students benefit from the academic and professional experience of UDM faculty members. To provide greater convenience and flexibility, courses will be available in different delivery options:
• traditional day and evening in-classroom format
• online courses in seven-week format (two per semester)
• one-week, intensive courses using in-classroom format
Students can also earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration, Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Completion Cohort Program, Master of Science in Nursing with a Major in Health Systems Management, and the Master of Science in Health Services Administration.
For more information about any of the UDM degree programs offered at University Center, contact Admissions Counselor Lynn Vitale at 586-263-6232 or 800-635-5020 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dozens of UDM students spent their spring break (March 3-10) living the University’s mission of service to others by helping the needy in Hurricane-battered New Orleans, La. and other locations in the Gulf Coast region. This is the second year that UDM students traveled to that location and the 17th year students have participated in Alternative Spring Break.
This year, students worked with Catholic Charities Operation Helping Hands. Volunteers gutted homes, including removal of walls, ceilings, floors, and electrical wiring, to help prepare for the rebuilding process. UDM’s new Director of the Catholic Studies Program Simon Hendry, S.J., joined the students in this effort. He came to UDM in January after serving as director of the Jesuit Center (Office of Mission and Identity) at Loyola University New Orleans. Fr. Hendry was at Loyola when Hurricane Katrina hit and looked forward to returning to aid in its continued recovery.
“Returning to New Orleans was a great opportunity to assist citizens who are still very much in need of help, while also reconnecting with colleagues and helping UDM students develop relationships with students at Loyola,” says Fr. Hendry.
UDM students also traveled to Mt. Pleasant, S.C., where they worked with the United Methodist Relief Center to help provide warm, safe, and dry housing to low-income, the elderly, and the handicapped in rural, low-country areas; Hot Springs, N.C., where they worked with the Jesuits and Sisters of Mercy in the Great Smokey Mountains of Appalachia doing home rehabilitation work as well as working with the Hispanic Ministry to meet the needs of local immigrants; and Lizana and Biloxi, Miss., where they assisted in much-needed clean-up and rebuilding of neighborhoods.
The University of Detroit Mercy Leadership Development Institute recently hosted more than 200 volunteers from the Coalition on Temporary Shelter and other agencies who gathered in the Student Center for “Every Person Counts,” a federal Department of Housing and Urban Development-mandated effort to record homeless people in Detroit and surrounding communities. Dozens of students returned to campus in mid-March after serving the needy in New Orleans, La. and other southern states through the University’s annual Alternative Spring Break (see related story at left).
Students also participate in community service through 37 service-learning courses that are offered each semester throughout the curriculum in addition to the service and learning that is available to students in UDM-sponsored clinics in the community. These are many of the reasons the John Templeton Foundation recently recognized UDM for exemplary student leadership opportunities in The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development.
The guide recognizes college programs that are dedicated to providing high-quality educational experiences for students to develop the competencies, conscience and compassion required of leaders in a civil society. It profiles 405 exemplary college programs from 10 categories that inspired students to lead ethical and civic-minded lives.
UDM is one of three Jesuit institutions, including Saint Louis and Santa Clara universities, recognized by the guide for its leadership program.
Maureen A. Fay, O.P., Ph.D., president emerita of the University of Detroit Mercy, was honored by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) with the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. Award, Feb. 3, in Washington, D.C. She was recognized for her outstanding contributions to Catholic higher education.
Sr. Fay helped to lead the innovative joint venture of the Jesuits and Sisters of Mercy to create the University of Detroit Mercy in 1990. Although Sr. Fay is a member of the Adrian Dominican religious order, the ACCU acknowledged that “she sensitively embodied the distinctive Ignatian and Mercy charisms in Catholic higher education.” Her tenure as
UDM’s president resulted in enrollment gains, pervasive academic improvements, and successful completion of the $100 million Legacy Campaign.
In addition, she served as president of the ACCU and the executive director of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities as well as on boards at numerous colleges and universities.
The Varsity News has seen many homes on campus over the years, and currently, the University of Detroit Mercy’s nearly 90-year-old student newspaper lacks a dedicated production facility. But change is on the way. The newspaper will be housed in the new Neal Shine Media Center on the top floor of the Walter and Jane Briggs Building.
The center is named for Neal Shine ’52, former publisher of the Detroit Free Press and former adjunct Communication Studies faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts and Education (CLAE), who will be honored at a springtime dedication of the new facility.
The VN’s new home is becoming a reality thanks to departmental efforts and a campaign spearheaded by devoted VN alumni. UDM graduates Dale Jablonski ’65, Suzanne Rabideau ’66, Andy Acho ’63, and Ron Thayer ’62 hope to raise $40,000 for the center.
According to CLAE Dean Charles Marske, “A working laboratory will replace the old space. Updates include 12 new computers, fax machines and a large new layout area. The space will also hold a separate editorial office.” Other facility improvements include a new ceiling, lighting, painting and electrical wiring.
Work has already started on the space renovation. An office, archive and conference room will be relocated to accommodate the new VN space, and one wall will be removed to open the space up for the newsroom. A door will be cut into another wall to create a combination reception area and business office, directly connecting to the newsroom.
“Right now, work on the VN is only offered as a directed study for journalism students through the Communication Studies department,” says Craig Farrand, VN advisor. “Consequently, staffing is low on the paper. The campaign funds are intended to provide a first–class journalism lab for the VN, and it is anticipated that this will help increase the size of the staff as well.”
The fund-raising efforts are as emotional as they are practical. All committee members speak fondly of their VN days. More than creating a cohesive production environment, the group says, they want to share their VN experience with current and future students. “It was more than a newspaper,” says Thayer. “It was camaraderie and late hours, and memories we'll have forever.”
If you would like to make a donation to help fund the new center, please contact Jennifer Dafoe, director of Development for the College of Liberal Arts & Education at 313-993-1429 or e-mail email@example.com.
This past February, the University of Detroit Mercy Theatre Company presented Malice Aforethought: The Sweet Trials. The production captured the essence of the civil rights landmark Sweet Trials, in which Dr. Ossian Sweet, a prominent black Detroit physician, was charged with the murder of a white man, defended by noted attorney Clarence Darrow and acquitted by an all-white jury in the courtroom of Judge Frank Murphy.
Written by UDM Professor and Performing Arts Co-Chair Arthur Beer, the play tells the story of the 1925-26 trials of Sweet and his family and friends—who sought to defend themselves against an angry mob—from the defendants’ point of view. First performed in 1987, the play returned for its encore 20th anniversary engagement in 2007.
The play, which attracted a sold-out audience throughout its run, was part of Sweet Trials Project, a state-wide focus on a milestone in civil rights history. “The Sweet Trials Project” comprised a series of notable events, including a traveling exhibit, panel discussions and an extended visit by Kevin Boyle ’82, award-winning author of Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age.
Community interest in the Sweet story increased even after the play ended.
Although the Theatre Company production concluded in February, UDM’s Sweet Trials Project continued, and the Detroit News reports a heightened interest in the Ossian Sweet story. The exhibit on the Sweet Trials continued to travel between metro Detroit libraries until April 5, and Boyle, who was also recently honored by Detroit City Council, returned in April to give more Detroit area presentations based on his book. According to the News, Detroit public libraries and area bookstores can’t keep Boyle’s book on the shelves. To keep the momentum going, the Theatre Company may take the UDM play on the road to area schools in September.
Read more about the Sweet Trials Project.